In his first interview since his "conscious uncoupling" with Gwyneth Paltrow last month, Chris Martin shed new insight into the demise of their marriage. The Coldplay frontman addressed their surprising separation—and touched on his own personal issues—while speaking to BBC Radio 1's Zane Lowe.
Did his relationship breakdown with Paltrow inspire the band's new album, Ghost Stories?
"I wouldn't use the word breakdown," Martin said. "This was more a realization about trying to grow up basically. Like I said, if you can't open yourself up, you can't appreciate the wonder inside. So you can be with someone very wonderful, but because of your own issues you cannot let that be celebrated in the right way. What changed for me was—I don't want to go through life being scared of it, being scared of love, being scared of rejection, being scared of failure. Ever since our band came out, we have been a very polarizing group because we do a certain thing very well...About two years ago I was a mess really because I can't enjoy the thing that we are good at and I can't enjoy the great things around me because I'm burdened by this—I've got to not blame anyone else and make some changes."
While the musician doesn't directly address his 10-year marriage to Paltrow, it's easy to read between the lines. When Martin, 37, and Paltrow, 41, announced their split, the exes said they had been "working hard for well over a year" on their relationship. Ghost Stories will address such struggles.
"Up to a certain point in my life I wasn't completely vulnerable and it caused some problems. If you don't let love really in then you can't really give it back. So what Ghost Story means to me is like you've got to open yourself up to love and if you really do, of course it will be painful at times, but then it will be great at some point," Martin said. "I think in life everyone needs to be broken in some way...I think everyone in their life goes through challenges, whether it's love or money, kids, or illness...You have to really not run away from that stuff. Life throws these colorful challenges at you...what we decided to do on Ghost Stories was to really be honest about it and say, this is what's been happening."
In the wide-ranging interview, Martin also revealed he has the hots for another British band.
"I think One Direction are the biggest band in the world. Their songs are great. I'm saying One Direction are brilliant and I'm not kidding. You know why? Because their songs are really good and I don't think that any of them are going to go solo. I think they appreciate their chemistry from watching their movie," Martin explained. "[Harry Styles] has come to a couple of our shows. I think I probably said the same thing about chemistry. I can't remember—I was too enamored with his haircut. I was like this: 'I was pretty sure I was a straight guy before.' I was having a hot flush."
Martin's full hour-long interview will air tonight at 8 p.m. local time on Lowe's BBC Radio 1 Show.